Page:Sea and River-side Rambles in Victoria.djvu/44

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they are voracious enough, take our word for it, and Johnston in his "History of British Zoophytes,"[1] relates, that a specimen of Actinia crassicornis which had been originally two inches in diameter, had somehow contrived to swallow a valve of Pecten maxmimus, (Scollop Shell) of the size of an ordinary saucer. The shell, fixed within the stomach, was so placed as to divide it completely into two halves, so that the body stretched tensely over had become thin and flattened like a pancake. All communication between the inferior portion of the stomach and the mouth was of course prevented, yet instead of emaciating and dying of an atrophy, the animal had availed itself of what undoubtedly had been a very untoward accident, to increase its enjoyments and its chances of double fare. A new mouth, furnished with two rows of numerous tentacula, was opened up on what had been the base, and led to the under stomach; the individual had indeed become a sort of Siamese twin, but with greater intimacy and extent in its unions!! Let our lady readers, who are so enthusiastic about pets of this kind, have a care of their crockery, more particularly as Lewes also informs us, that "anything and everything is carried straightway into its stomach to be there tried, and rejected only on proved incompatibility.[2]

It is from Gosse, Rymer Jones, and others, whose beautiful Works on all the objects of the Sea-side display evidence of such untiring research into their habits and economy, that we place the utmost reliance in

  1. Vol. 1, page 235, 2nd Edition.
  2. Sea-side Studies, p. 127.